The University of New England (UNE) is a research institution (Carnegie R2) located in southern Maine that grants both undergraduate and graduate degrees and is the largest educator of health professionals in Maine. Dedication to “focused research and scholarship” is one of six priorities outlined by UNE President James D. Herbert in his strategic plan for the University. As such, students are engaged in research that is intellectually stimulating, regionally responsive, and globally relevant at all stages of their education.
UNE’s addition to the INBRE network builds upon the strong work conducted by UNE’s Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function, itself an NIGMS IDeA-funded program. COBRE programs support thematic, multidisciplinary research centers that strengthen institutional biomedical research capacity. The mission of UNE’s COBRE center is to enhance the scientific understanding of the neurobiology of chronic pain, facilitating the discovery and development of novel therapies. The center’s primary focus is to provide support to junior scientists as they establish independent research programs.
In addition to the COBRE’s focused research on the neurobiology of pain, UNE researchers conduct federally funded research in the areas of pharmacology, novel therapeutic discovery, inflammation, infectious disease and public health. The UNE Center for Excellence in Public Health (CEPH) and Center for Aging and Health (CEAH) focus on the nutritional and health care needs of vulnerable populations in Maine. The Institute of North Atlantic Studies (UNE North) connects researchers, educators, policy makers and industry leaders from across Maine and the North Atlantic region to implement collaborative approaches to building resilient communities, health environments and thriving economies.
UNE North is currently partnering with the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (EU) in a Covid-19 Response Working Group, as well as pursuing NSF funding for building a digital health network throughout the region to identify promising pilot initiatives supporting community and human health and workforce development.
UNE’s participation in the INBRE network furthers the University’s commitment to research that confronts the pressing issues of society. UNE contributes to advancing the goals of the Maine INBRE by providing mentored research experiences for undergraduate research fellows from different INBRE partner institutions as well as through inter-institutional faculty research collaborations.
UNE’s graduate students are eligible to apply for INBRE support to participate in training programs to further their education. UNE’s faculty members provide mentored research experiences to undergraduate students from the statewide network. In addition, junior faculty at UNE are eligible to compete for developmental research project funding through the INBRE program.